In Rudaw 

Iraq’s PM, oil minister meet CEO of French energy giant Total, discuss development

Iraq’s premier and its oil minister met on Tuesday with the CEO of French oil giant Total to discuss energy sector development, according to statements from the offices of both ministers.

In the meeting with prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and oil minister Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar Ismail, Total’s CEO Patrick Pouyanne “expressed his company’s desire to expand its work in Iraq, and to contribute to the development of the oil industry and gas investment,” an oil ministry statement read.

Also discussed was harnessing gas to generate electricity, according to a statement from the prime minister’s office.

The two parties specifically discussed the “possibiliity of participation” by Total in the development of the gas fields of Akkaz in Anbar province and Mansouriya in Diyala province, the oil ministry said.

Total currently holds a 22.5 percent stake in the Halfaya oil field in southern Iraq’s Misan province, as well as an 18 percent stake in the Sarsang oil field in the Kurdistan Region.

Tuesday’s meeting with Total forms part of Ismail’s plans to work with international companies to develop Iraq’s oil sector, his ministry’s statement added.

Baghdad struck a deal with American energy titan Chevron to “develop the Iraqi oil and gas sector” in August, finance minister Ali Allawi told the Atlantic Council.

Iraq is currently heavily dependent on gas imports from neighbouring Iran to prop up its production of electricity.

The United States has issued waivers to Iraq so that it can import otherwise sanctioned Iranian gas to help the country meet its electricity demands. Issue of the most recent waiver, applicable for 60 days, was confirmed on September 23.

The waivers are intended to act only as a short-term stopgap for until Iraq is able to wean itself off of Iran for its energy needs. Allawi said Iraq will have significantly reduced its reliance on Iranian energy imports by as early as next year.

Rudaw English has contacted Total for comment on the meeting, but has yet to receive a response. Source